The Ultimate Road Trip #Day4 (Kigali)

Early morning on the tour of Kigali

Early morning on the tour of Kigali

On this day I woke up quite excited that it was the last day of the year 2014, we would soon be ushering in a new year and this is always seen as an entry into new beginnings and clean slates for next twelve months. Unlike me, many make new year resolutions on this day listing down things they will never do again and those that they intend to do more often. I made a resolution to always preach peace wherever I may be. I dreamt of a world dwelling in peace and harmony. I resolved to push on with my photo-project (https://askmyshoe.wordpress.com/) which is my little contribution towards fighting tribalism in my beloved country, Kenya.

Genocide

Genocide

We visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial. I really did not know what to expect, and the silence in the truck that morning confirmed to me that all the other adventurers were also quite anxious about the visit. On a hill with neatly manicured grounds and intentionally arranged rows of flowers stands a large white building that has stored in detail the horror that befell Rwanda in the year 1994.

The Kigali Genocide Memorial

The Kigali Genocide Memorial

We were welcomed by the very friendly staff of the memorial centre and they gave us a quick introduction to the facility. We were going to take a self-guided tour of the museum aided by a map of the facility and a hand-held audio play gadget that has a voice recording narrating about each numbered stop of the centre.

The map and audio play hand-held device

The map and audio play hand-held device

From the movies we have watched about the atrocities that happened during the Rwanda genocide, nothing comes close to the horror that is recorded in the memorial centre. It left me wondering what would fill a human mind with so much anger and hatred to yield into a massacre of a people. It made me sad to imagine that bad politics sort of has the power to reduce men into animals! Rwanda saw it, and made an effort to ensure that future generations understand how dark those times were for their country so that they can endeavour to never go back to that.

The main entrance into the Kigali Genocide Memorial

The main entrance into the Kigali Genocide Memorial

Just before we started the tour of the museum, I had to pay a small fee so that I could be allowed to take photos inside. I wanted to bring you some of the shots so that you can have a feel of what is recorded;

The peaceful and beautiful country Rwanda was before the war. They are on their way well back to recovery.

The peaceful and beautiful country Rwanda was before the war. They are on their way well back to recovery.

European tourists follow the horror of the genocide in the pictures

European tourists follow the horror of the genocide in pictures

Identity cards previously indicated whether each Rwandese person was a Tutsi or a Hutu

Identity cards previously indicated whether each Rwandese person was a Tutsi or a Hutu

The genocide spared no one. Not even children.

The genocide spared no one. Not even children.

Tourists drawn into the story of the genocide told in the museum

Tourists drawn into the story of the genocide told in the museum

A room that holds some photos of people who lost their lives during the genocide

A room that holds some photos of people who lost their lives during the genocide

Skulls and some personal belongings of those massacred in the genocide. Some skulls have bullet holes while others have clear machete cuts

Skulls and some personal belongings of those massacred in the genocide. Some skulls have bullet holes while others have clear machete cuts

Clothes recovered from mass graves where a majority of the victims had been buried

Clothes recovered from mass graves where a majority of the victims had been buried

Some of the innocent children killed in the genocide

Some of the innocent children killed in the genocide

A section of the mass graves where some of the many victims are buried within the centre

A section of the mass graves where some of the many victims are buried within the centre

Some names on the wall where the genocide victims are listed

Some names on the wall where the genocide victims are listed

An adventurer takes a guided walk around the genocide museum

An adventurer takes a guided walk around the genocide museum

It took us slightly more than two hours to tour the facility. My heart bled for what Rwanda had gone through, and it was great to see a people so united on the path to recovery and building a strong nation. I prayed that all leaders in this world may lead selflessly and for the sake of their citizens and not their selfish interests. I said a silent prayer for my country Kenya, that we may slay the monster of tribalism so that it may never threaten the peace we know like it attempted to in 2007/2008.

Adventurers catch up after a tour of the museum

Adventurers catch up after a tour of the museum

The integrity of Rwandan people was to also come out while we were on a tour of the museum. As Ali the biking adventurer sat at the museum’s lobby,  a lady who was one of the curators walked up to him and asked to know his name. She engaged him in a conversation finding out if he had ever been to the museum before and where he was from. Ali, being who he is was totally into this conversation. I mean, she was a beautiful lady, he’s a biker and most often than not those two find their way to each other either by accident or intent. 🙂 When Ali told her that he had visited the place about two years ago, she went into the office and came back with a wallet which she handed over to him. Ali was ecstatic! He had lost it on his last visit here. It was intact. Not a single coin or card was missing!

His wallet was intact after losing over two years ago at the genocide museum

His wallet was intact after losing it over two years ago at the genocide museum

The day raced past me. There was so much to see and to reflect on at the genocide memorial. Soon it was time for lunch and as usual, the Bunduz.com crew did not disappoint. We had a picnic lunch right on the museum’s beautiful grounds overlooking a section of Kigali on a neighbouring hill.

Lunch is served

Lunch is served

We later left the genocide museum and took a truck tour of the Kigali city. We then ended up at the Kigali Serena Hotel which would be the venue for the new year’s eve party. The adventurers were all excited about it and procured tickets to the party right on the spot, with the help of our trip Captain, Mukhtar Sidi.

Kigali Serena Hotel

The venue of the New Year’s eve party, Kigali Serena Hotel

I bet most of you have watched the popular movie about the Rwanda Genocide dubbed Hotel Rwanda. While on our way back to where we were putting up, we stopped by the Hotel Des Mille Collines where the movie was set!

Hotel

Hotel Des Mille Collins

Later that night we attended the New Year’s eve party at the Kigali Serena Hotel! It was an awesome party! Our trip Captain (Mukhtar Sidi Bunduz.com) through his many connections was able to secure a VVIP party section for the adventurers. We danced, drunk and had loads of fun as we ushered in the new 2015!

The ladies arrived dressed to kill!

The ladies arrived dressed to kill!

Mukhtra (Bunduz.com) with some of the adventurers at the New Year's party

Mukhtra (Bunduz.com) with some of the adventurers at the New Year’s party

Ushering 2015 in style!

Ushering 2015 in style!

Ladies enjoying the ambiance of the Bunduz.com VVIP party section

Ladies enjoying the ambiance of the Bunduz.com VVIP party section

The faces of joy! Happy 2015!

The faces of joy! Happy 2015!

Mash and Mukhtar of Bunduz.com at the Kigali Serena Hotel.

Mash and Mukhtar of Bunduz.com at the Kigali Serena Hotel.

Happy New 2015! May it be filled with blessings and adventure enough to constantly rejuvenate your soul!

Road Trip Organized by: http://www.bunduz.com/

Documentary and Photos by: Macharia Njuguna (https://adventurewithmash.wordpress.com/)

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